UK business secretary Greg Clark has travelled to Paris for meetings with the French government and Peugeot-owner PSA Group to press the case for the company to keep the UK’s Vauxhall plants open.

PSA, which owns Peugeot and Citroen, announced on Tuesday that it was in talks with General Motors to buy its loss-making European Opel brand, which owns Vauxhall in the UK including plants at Ellesmere Port and Luton, which together employ 3,400 people.

Mr Clark travelled by Eurostar to Paris on Thursday evening for separate meetings with French industry minister Christophe Sirugue and members of the PSA board.

His trip comes amid expectations that PSA boss Carlos Tavares will slash costs once the deal is completed in an effort to restore the business to financial health.

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